1932

Abstract

Major innovations in the evolution of vegetation such as the Devonian origin of forests created new weathering regimes and soils (Alfisols, Histosols) that increased carbon consumption and sequestration and ushered in the Permian-Carboniferous Ice Age. Similarly, global expansion of grasslands and their newly evolved, carbon-rich soils (Mollisols) over the past 40 million years may have induced global cooling and ushered in Pleistocene glaciation. Grassland evolution has been considered a consequence of mountain uplift and tectonic reorganization of ocean currents, but it can also be viewed as a biological force for global change through coevolution of grasses and grazers. Organisms in such coevolutionary trajectories adapt to each other rather than to their environment, and so can be forces for global change. Some past farming practices have aided greenhouse gas release. However, modern grassland agroecosystems are a potential carbon sink already under intensive human management, and carbon farming techniques may be useful in curbing anthropogenic global warming.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-earth-050212-124001
2013-05-30
2024-06-13
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-earth-050212-124001
Loading
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-earth-050212-124001
Loading

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error